Product Type: VTech baby toys
Newest Review: ... is made for a slightly older age, for when they are learning but i think this is great for my daughters age too. as its teaching her hand e... more
Not for me, mummy!
Vtech Baby's Laptop
Member Name: ariom
Vtech Baby's Laptop
Advantages: cheap, easy to use, robust
Disadvantages: my son doesn't like it, confusing with buttons having different meanings
We got the Vtech Baby's first laptop as a Christmas present, though it appears to be quite widely available in toystores. It's Amazon price is £14.62
The suggested age range is 9 months to 36 months, though the operation of the laptop is possible earlier, this suggestion probably is in line with when it makes more sense. All the screen lights are red, which contrasts with the predominant primary colours on the rest of the laptop, but can make some of the images hard to see. The laptop has three operating modes, all of which are narrated by a chirpy, high-pitched female voice. One mode is to teach cause and effect. Once a button is pressed, the corresponding space on the screen lights up and the voice describes the picture on this screen slot. I would imagine the concept of cause and effect relating to this is probably more accessible to the older end of the age range, though it is undermined by the buttons having different functions in the other two modes. One of the other modes gives three different reactions by touching the same button - the first saying the shape name and creating a squared off image of the shape on the screen - though these are shown briefly as part of a flashing pattern and I doubt any child within the age range would recognise them for the time it is shown. The second time it describes the picture on the button, with a noise to represent it as well. Some of these are emotions, others objects. The third time a comment is made about the image on the screen. I think this commenting rather than naming objects would be confusing for the child. The third mode plays tunes from well known nursery rhymes without any lyrics. However these tunes are readily available on other electronic toys and I feel confuses the meaning of the buttons further.
Thankfully, the computer has an off switch as well as two volume buttons. The mouse (which makes directional sounds) and switch to switch between modes are easy for a 9 month old to manipulate. My 9 month old can close the lid, but not open it. It is very robust, has been dropped a few times, banged back and forwards and shows no sign of faltering.
So, what's Bryn's verdict? The first few times he used it he'd look at it for 5 minutes or less pressing the buttons, moving the switch or mouse before closing the lid. Now he may press one or two buttons maximum before closing the lid - this toy is definitely not for me mummy!
Summary: I'm sure some kids will love it, but not my son!